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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)

TITLE: South-East Deluge


The rain came as sudden as a surge from a burst water pipe. Hail pounded on the roof like the sound of a jet plane taking off. Everyone rushed to the window and pulled back the curtains to reveal a vertical wall of cascading water that thrashed from the blackened sky. The house shook with every deafening crash of thunder.

Recently manicured lawns quickly turned to swirling pools of murky liquid. The drains on each side of the road overflowed and soon transformed the avenue into a rapid flowing river. A car tyre and an empty garbage bin swept past the gate in the rapid flow. An assortment of debris joined the race down the newly formed waterway.

Dad had to shout to be heard. “Look at that!” He pointed to a neighbour’s roof across the road where hail ricochet in all directions.

“Dad,” Jeremy yelled. “The water’s coming up to the steps.”

Jerry rushed to the front door and opened it cautiously. He took a quick look before slamming it shut against a blast of chilly air. “Take the kids upstairs, Kylie—just in case.”

Before Kylie could respond Jeremy grabbed his sister’s hand. “Come on, Lizzie,” he encouraged.” We can see the backyard from my bedroom window.”

When the children were out of sight Kylie followed her husband into the kitchen. “Just in case what, Jerry?”

He shrugged. “I’m not sure. When I was Jeremy’s age, my grandfather told me that there was a storm like this when he was a boy.” He shrugged again. “I thought it was just a story. We’ll just have to pray that it’ll stop soon.” He gave his wife a reassuring hug. “I’ll try to prevent the water from coming under the doors. You keep the children upstairs.”

Kylie nodded and joined Jeremy and Lizzie on the first floor.

Jerry searched the kitchen for anything that would help keep the water out. He paused to think and remembered the bags of potting mix that he had placed on the back veranda the day before. He braced himself before he glided open the sliding door and stepped out into the wind and rain. With the bags of soil pressed tightly against the bottom of the external doors, Jerry re-joined his family.

“Daddy, my cubbyhouse is floating.” Lizzie jumped up and down in the excitement.

Mum drew Jeremy’s attention to the corner of the garden.

“Oops. Sorry, Mum.”

“Well on this occasion leaving the back gate open will be forgiven,” Dad concluded. “It’s probably helped keep the water away from the house.”

They watched water gush through the opened gate and out into the vacant property beyond their fence. The hail ceased but the rain continued for almost an hour before it stopped as suddenly as it began. An eerie silence emerged from the racket and no one had noticed that Kylie had left the room and return again with a battery operated radio.

The announcer’s voice boomed into the room. “Reports of flash flooding have come in from all areas of the South-East region. Thankfully the deluge has eased and the sky is clearing. Unfortunately, the news from the north of the state is not so optimistic. Rain continues to inundate homes and businesses from the east coast to the western border with no letup in sight.”

At Lizzie’s shriek, Dad turned down the radio’s sound. “What is it?”

“I think my bike is gone.”

Dad held her close. “It’s okay, Princess. We can buy a new bicycle. For now we need to pray for those people who live further north where it’s still raining. They could lose everything.”

Lizzie nodded her head slowly but her lower lip quivered and she blinked excessively. Jeremy turned up the volume up again.

“Four people drowned on the north coast when the car they were travelling in was washed off a bridge by a surge of water. A six-year-old girl remains missing after she was swept from her father’s arms. Meanwhile, the clean-up has begun in the south-east region of the state.”

Authors Note: Please keep the people of our northern regions in your prayers. Whole towns are underwater leaving many thousands of residents’ homeless and livelihoods destroyed. As I told one neighbour recently, we may have suffered damage and loss but the people in the northern areas of our state have had their lives changed forever.

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This article has been read 423 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 01/14/11
You've combined the reality of how powerless we are against natural forces with the availability of God's grace for us and through us to others. Our prayers are with you.
Mariane Holbrook 01/14/11
What an absolutely gripping story! It was like listening to a TV newsman reporting while standing on the site. Sadly, it was true in many locations and our hearts go out to those caught up in nature's fury.
Amy Michelle Wiley 01/15/11
Good job at making the situation down there realistic. Glad it only happens once in a blue moon! Was a little distracted by quite a few punctuation errors and a typo (email me if you want specifics), but otherwise good story. Will be praying for the people who are going through this in real life.
diana kay01/15/11
great descriptive writing :-) as i comment it seems there have also been massive and destructive floods in Brazil as well.Thank you for bringing the pictures we see to life.
Im glad the family in your piece only lost a bike and kept their lives.
Shelley Ledfors 01/15/11
Thank you for writing this. It helps make a tragedy far removed from here (in physical distance) seem much more personal. I have been praying, and will continue to pray, for those affected.
Brenda Rice 01/15/11
Thanks for sharing with us what is happening in Australia and other countries right now. You have a natural way with words. I enjoyed reading this.
Carol Slider 01/15/11
I've seen news stories about the floods, but your story brings the reality of it home with powerful force. Thoughts and prayers for all those affected by this disaster.
Edmond Ng 01/17/11
This well-written story brings out the reality many are facing and comes alive at a time when much prayer is needed. Our hearts come together and go out to the homeless as we seek God for His mercy and providence to all who suffer more than just damages.
Kate Oliver Webb 01/17/11
This was so very well done, it brought the emotions alive in me. My pulse rose, and I was so IN the story I expected to feel wet feet! Great writing.
Henry Clemmons01/18/11
I was thinking before I read your author's note that this could be coming straight from the news in Austrailia. Very exciting entry with lessons on priorities and how quick floods of any kind can come. I enjoyed this. And I have been and will continue to pray.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/18/11
This is one of your best stories, Chrissy. It is well written throughout.
Pastor Proud01/18/11
You captured the tension of the setting very well. Your story is a timely reminder to us all of the challenges faced by the millions of people around the world who are affected by natural disasters. A good opportunity for us to pray, in particular for the people of Queensland and their struggles right now.

So, in short, I really liked it! Found the weight of adjectives in the first para a bit distracting though, if I am being really honest. But it's a small point.

God bless.
Glynis Becker01/18/11
Prayers going out to the families affected by these storms and you've done a great job drawing attention to it in a personal way.
Lollie Hofer01/19/11
You've taken what we would consider "just another news event" here in the USA and made it real to us. We now are much more aware of your pain and the agony of those effected by this tragedy. I, for one, will continue to pray. Thanks for sharing.
Theresa Santy 01/19/11
Fantasticaly well-written, and strongly moving piece.
Connie Dixon01/19/11
I found myself right in the middle of the storm - and thankful not to be. Good job on this piece.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/19/11
The suspense in this was so intense. You did an outstanding job with the details and realists characters. The last line was a punch in my stomach as I realizedl you were described the flooding that is happening now in Australia. It was a great reminder to pray for those caught in the flood.